Getting To Know: Cesc Fàbregas

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 17: Cesc Fabregas of Barcelona in action during the Super Cup second leg match between Barcelona and Real Madrid at Nou Camp on August 17, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Full name: Francesc Fàbregas Soler
Squad No: 4
Position: Midfielder
Date of birth: 4 May 1987
Place of birth: Vilassar de Mar, Spain
Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight: 75 kg (165 lbs)

Born and raised a FC Barcelona fan just 25 kilometers northwest of the Camp Nou, in the coastal town of Vilassar de Mar, Cesc Fabregas quickly realized his dream was to one day play for Catalunya's most illustrious club. However, Fabregas' first stop in his development process was a local club he joined at the age of eight, CF Mataró.

Around the time Cesc turned ten, he did indeed get the opportunity to join his boyhood club Barcelona. The Catalan club made him an offer he couldn't refuse; a place in the famed La Masia academy. Playing as pivot Fabregas showed remarkable passing skills, outstanding technique and tremendous scoring ability. He quickly rose through the youth ranks and by the time he turned 16 already close to breaking into the Barcelona B squad.

In 2003, however, realizing his path to Barca's first team was blocked by Luis Enrique, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and othersFabregas decided to accept Arsene Wenger's offer to join Arsenal and signed a professional contract with the Gunners, much to the dismay of newly-elected Barca president, Joan Laporta.

 

In his first season in North London, Fabregas continued to hone his development at the Arsenal academy. Despite his youth and lack of experience Wenger rewarded the youngster with playing time in the League Cup.

Young Fabregas made his professional debut on 28 October 2003 against Rotherham United at the age of 16 years 177 days, making him the youngest player to ever play an official game for the Gunners. He continued to leave a mark in Arsenal's history books later in the season as he became the youngest to ever score for the London based club. His first goal for Arsenal came at the age of 16 years and 212 days, on 2 December 2003 against Wolverhampton Wanderers, once again in the League Cup.

The very next season Fabregas became a regular for Wenger's side and the Catalan rewarded his manager's faith in him with consistently good performances. Throughout the years Cesc was a pillar of consistency, but after his appointment as captain of the team, in the 2008/09 season, he struggled to get back to full strength due to a string of injuries. Over his eight year spell with the North London outfit Fabregas appeared in 303 games, scored 57 goals and provided a further 100 assists.

After a protracted transfer saga, that dragged out for over two years, Fabregas left Arsenal this summer for the club he idolized as a child, FC Barcelona. In order to secure his services, Barca paid €29 million up front, while a further €5 million will be paid over the next five seasons. Additionally, another €5 million will be due if Barcelona win a certain amount of trophies in the following seasons. Cesc finally made his Blaugrana debut as a substitute in the second leg of the Supercopa de España against Real Madrid, a game that Barcelona won 3-2.

Fabregas' international career began at the Under-17 level and continued throughout every Under-Age level. But unlike many of his current teammates he failed to win a trophy with Spain's various youth teams. Luis Aragones, the then manager of La Furia Roja, impressed by the 18-year old Arsenal midfielder, awarded Fabregas his senior debut on 28 March 2007 in a friendly against the Ivory Coast. So far Cesc has amassed 56 senior appearances while scoring six goals.

Profile
Cesc Fabregas is regarded as one of the top five (if not top three) midfielders in the world. His passing range is superb and his vision can be rivaled only by "the other" two Barcelona midfielders. Cesc dictates tempo brilliantly and will rarely loose the ball under pressure. Also a natural goalscorer which is a rarity for a midfielder of his passing abilities. Fabregas does lack elite pace and his injury record is far from clean.

Honors
Arsenal FC

  • FA Cup (1): 2004-05

  • FA Community Shield (1): 2004

FC Barcelona

  • Supercopa de España (1): 2011

Spain

  • FIFA World Cup (1): 2010

  • UEFA European Championship (1): 2008

Individual

  • FIFA U-17 World Championship Golden Shue (1): 2003

  • FIFA U-17 World Championship Golden Ball (1): 2003

  • UEFA European U-17 Football Championship Golden Player (1): 2004

  • UEFA Team of the Year (2): 2006, 2008

  • Bravo Award (1): 2006

  • ESM Team of the Year (2): 2007-08, 2009-10

  • PFA Team of the Year (2): 2007-08. 2009-10

  • PFA Young Player of the Year (1): 2007-08

  • UEFA Team of the Tournament (1): 2008

When Cesc arrived to Barcelona he signed a five year contract that will expire in 2016 and includes a €200 million buyout clause.

 

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